Joe Schad | Palm Beach Post
Deshaun Watson has officially requested a trade from the Houston Texans.
It’s been reported for weeks that Watson wants out but now multiple reports indicate he’s made it clear there’s no turning back.
The Texans are preparing to introduce a new coach, David Culley, but their new general manager, Nick Caserio, has an enormous problem on his hands.
Caserio doesn’t want to trade Watson, one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and other than Patrick Mahomes perhaps the best young quarterback in the NFL.
But it appears he’ll have no choice.
“Their new head-coach hire, David Culley, has not and will not alter Watson’s thinking,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter said.
“He wants out and can determine where he goes,” Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said.
Watson has a no-trade clause, which is very advantageous to a franchise like the Miami Dolphins.
It has been reported that Watson has interest in both the Dolphins and the Jets, which sets up an interesting potential bidding war for the young star.
It is true that Watson would be a star in New York. And yes, there would be a nice potential for some advertising opportunities.
But the Dolphins are better positioned as a franchise to leap into championship contention than the rebuilding Jets.
While it’s been said that Watson has respect for incoming Jets coach Robert Saleh, it’s also been said he respects the culture being established by coach Brian Flores.
The Dolphins have no choice but to pursue Watson, who is everything the club hopes Tua Tagovailoa may one day be.
Miami is where it’s at.
Watson knows how close to perfect the weather is in paradise.
Watson knows about the massive benefit of no state taxes.
Watson knows about the renovated Hard Rock Stadium and soon-to-be unveiled state-of-the-art training facility in Miami Gardens.
Watson would flourish behind an offensive line featuring three talented high draft picks who won’t be rookies in 2021.
He knows DeVante Parker has star potential, and Preston Williams and Mike Gesicki, too.
And even if the Dolphins need to deal the 3rd and 18th picks to land Watson, there are plenty of resources left to add a needed receiver and running back.
If not in the draft, there is always free agency.
And that’s another benefit of coming to the Dolphins. Owner Stephen Ross wants badly to win and will spend whatever it takes to make it happen.
The Dolphins organization also treats their players well, something Watson reportedly does not feel is the case in Houston.
Watson should hit up Byron Jones, leader of the Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee. No NFL organization is as involved in the community.
Watson should hit up Dolphins players who have participated in Ross’ offseason business seminars for players.
Ross want to help his players prepare for life after football, and offers direct assistance to those interested in real estate, technology, investing, and business operations and development.
If Miami swings and miss on this, it won’t be disastrous. For all we know, Tagovailoa, further removed from a serious hip injury, and with a new play-caller, will flourish in 2021.
Watson, of course, is far more of a sure thing. And even Tua, one of the most reasonable, poised, mature youngsters in the NFL, would have to fully understand Chris Grier communicating with Caserio about a possible deal.
Whoever lands Watson will win the deal, almost no matter who heads to Texas.
If Miami were to send two first-rounders, a second-rounder and Xavien Howard, Christian Wilkins or Tagovailoa, they would still win the deal.
Miami tore its entire organization to the studs to land a quarterback they believe can lead them to a championship. They think Tua is that player. Almost every executive in the league would tell you they know Watson is that player.
On Friday, there will be exactly three months until the first day of the NFL Draft. Perhaps a deal will be worked out much sooner than that. But surely that would be a drop-dead date for a trade.
The Texans may hold out as long as possible, hoping Watson miraculously changes his mind, or that some team offers a Herschel Walker-Ricky Williams-esque package.
But in the end, if Watson suggests he’ll never play for the Texans again — which appears to be exactly what he’s doing — he holds the cards.
Watson, smartly, has a no-trade clause in his contract. And thus, like so many NBA stars before him, he can decide where he wants to live, who he wants to play for and who he wants to play with.
Did we mention Florida features 237 days a year of sunshine a year?